The night we flew from Boston to Keflavik, cold air rode on the wisp of our heels and met us sweetly in the early morning hours of our first day. We drove down thick paved roads and the tires made noise as if they were rolling over loose gravel. The signs were unfamiliar but the feeling of traveling on a road was good and comforting. We drove into a small, one-road town and turned around at the lighthouse in order to find a spot to park on the beach before the sun came up over the distant mountains. Everything was dark and when we started to see the signs of first light we tried to sleep before he came fully.
The sun came up with purple and blue and orange clouds. It was a feeling of great joy and peace to know that we had started the trip with the rise of such a good sun. We drove back down the one-lane road through the town to see it in the light and we saw a church that we hadn't seen before, standing solidly and minimally next to the town’s graveyard. As the sun rose higher and higher still, the landscape lit up and with it came fresh crisp ocean air. We kept driving along the coast and felt full and very grateful.
We came to a small, winding gravel road that was very rocky and uneven. Our tiny car bounced and it helped to wake us up after a night of no sleep. We came to another lighthouse and kept going down the small road and saw a sign further down with English and decided to get out and see what surrounded. The air smelled intensely of sulfur and smoke billowed magnificently out of several holes in the ground. There was a wooded path and a railing and another sign that read, “DANGER”. It was such a strong smell it was hard to ignore but the beauty of the smoke flowing through the air helped us to ignore it. We turned back to the car but on our way saw wooden steps carved into the side of two large hills. We climbed separately and came to the edge of two large, strong, beautiful cliffs. The ocean below was a deep blue with frothy white foam blanketing the edges of the jagged rocks. The top of the grassy cliff I stood on sloped downwards towards the water. We ran down to switch hills and the second one I climbed was even more haunting than the first and I felt brave when I stepped closer and closer to the edge.
Dark, black rock lined the shore and when we had climbed down from the hills, we walked out on the rocks and saw a large number of birds perched on the side of the deep black cliff. It was unlike anything I had seen and also unlike anything he had seen. We were stunned both with the landscape and lack of sleep and all the while the day kept getting brighter and morning had finally come.
We followed the coast and tried to keep our heavy eyes from closing. The landscape changed every few minutes and we were silenced by the newness and beauty of it all. After about an hour or so I let myself sleep and he drove into the city to our room for the week. The few first hours felt like days of adventure and it was almost overwhelming to think there was an entire week ahead of us. But it was an exciting thought and was only overwhelming with happiness and anticipation.